Choosing a design and style for your stationery is key for setting the tone for your wedding and a reflection of what your guests can expect to see on the day. If you’re not too sure what you need or even what you’re after – don’t fret! Run by Gemma Titmarsh, experienced graphic designer with career history at You & Your Wedding magazine; Polly Pickle has the knowledge and wedding know-how to be able to advise you throughout the entire wedding planning process. We make it our business to deliver the best creative ideas, which will wow you and your groom!
To help you create the stationery you need and ensure it includes all of the key information for your guests, we’ve put together a checklist to guide you through everything you need;
Save the dates
Send out as soon as you’ve chosen your wedding date, a good idea for weddings booked in advance. You simply need to give guests a date and location, no other details are required at this stage.
Send out 3 to 4 months before your wedding.
- Choose your wording – this is personal preference, you can go traditional or be creative, there are no rules! You’ll need to choose who the invitation is coming from, traditionally this is the brides parents but depending on your personal situation you may choose otherwise, for example;
- The traditional bride’s parents; "Mr & Mrs Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter…"
- Both sets of parents; "Mr & Mrs Smith and Mr & Mrs Brown request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of…"
- Yourselves as the couple; "Gemma Louise Smith & Thomas Frederick Brown request the pleasure of your company at their marriage…"
- Bride and groom names as you’d like them to appear (with or without middle names)
- Ceremony time
- Ceremony location
- Reception location
- Date – we advise to leave a space to hand write a date in case you send out extras or you send day and evening invitations out separately
- Return address
- Dietary requirements and allergens – most venues and caterers ask for this information
- Fun bits! We like to add on “I promise to dance if you play…” or you can do a vote on “First person to dance”
- This is key for ensuring your guests have all of the information they need, from experience, if you don’t tell them they will all be ringing and asking! These are some options you may want to consider;
- Ceremony and reception full address with postcode for navigation
- Directions – It isn't necessary to give lengthy motorway descriptions when most people use sat nav’s, but if your venue is tricky to find it might be a good idea to put on a couple tips or places to look out for on route to make sure guests can find their way
- Local accommodation – a couple hotels and B&B’s is adequate. If you ring some hotel chains it’s possible to get a booking code and preferential rate for your guests
- Local taxi number
- Curfew time for booking travel
- Gifts – many people find this part uncomfortable! There are some great little poems out there if you want to politely ask for money towards a honeymoon for example. It’s important and helpful to guests as it’s likely the majority of your guests would like to get you something as a well wisher on your adventure in to marriage. If you don’t put anything you may end up with a lot of heart shaped waffle makers – be warned!
Allow a minimum of 4 weeks from supplying information to see through the bespoke design process, proof checking, printing, handmade touches and posting.
Remember you won’t be sending out a invitation to every single guest as many will be in couples, so count addresses rather than people. It’s important to order extras in case one gets lost in the post, or someone can’t make it and you choose to upgrade an evening guest. It’s also nice to order an extra one for a keepsake too. Printing is a minimum order of 30 so to order extras at a later date would be more costly.
We advise to post all day invitations first with an RSVP date of no-longer than 4 weeks – lets face it, this is plenty of time for guests to check their diaries and check for babysitters. If some day guests have regretfully declined you may choose to invite some guests from your evening list to the day, which is why we advise to send out evening invites later. Numbers tend to be needed by venues for the day rather than evening due to catering etc. Before posting it’s worth a quick visit to the Post Office to check a regular stamp will get your invite there – heavier card stocks may add extra weight.
Order of Service (religious) or Order of the Day (non-religious)
An Order of Service is more commonly used for church weddings to have readings, hymns and the names of the bridal party. They tend to work well as an A5 sized booklet – the spine can be hand finished with twine or satin ribbon to match an touches from the invitations. An Order of the Day card is a still a lovely touch to let guests know of the key moments throughout the day, particularly helpful if you have planned group photos or sparklers. It can be kept simple as a double-sided card rather than booklet in this instance.
Individual menu cards can be made for each table place which is an elegant touch. You may need to send them in advance with invitations if you need to get choices back with your RSVP so it’s best to check this with your venue or caterers.
Place name cards
These will need making for every day guest, the styling options are endless! They could be a stand up mini card or a tag hand tied on to a wicker heart – often the invitation style will influence an idea to match.
Your plan could be pegged cards hung on string across a rustic crate, or a large picture mounted in an ornate frame. Again, the style is mostly influenced by the invitations and venue style. We are happy to suggest creative ideas if you’re unsure.
Table names or numbers
These can be personalised with the favourite places you’ve traveled to as a couple or favourite films or song names. Alternatively simple table numbers can look classy.
Personalised thank you cards
Guests deserve a special thank you after the wedding for coming to share your special day. It’s great to personalise a card or postcard with your names and wedding date and with a special photograph of a particular memory from the day. If this is something you’re keen to do it’s a good idea to mention this to your photographer – you could do a word like ‘LOVE’ with sparkers or hold some bunting saying ‘MR & MRS’ or ‘Thank You!’.